Thai Chicken Sandwiches

It’s time to say farewell to jicama and transition to a completely different food: chicken. I really haven’t been on much of a meat kick lately, but I did make these Thai Chicken Sandwiches a few weeks ago and my parents both loved them. It isn’t that I dislike the taste of chicken, or that I thought these sandwiches were bad – trust me, even if my parents raved about them, they wouldn’t be on here unless I thought they were good, too – I just can’t seem to get excited about them. In fact, while I was eating the meal, I kept wondering how the sandwich would taste with Thai tofu instead. Or a Thai chickpea patty. Ok, that one I just thought of now, but it sounds awesome.

Really, this chicken sandwich is pretty tame. The chicken itself has a mild flavor but is cooked well, giving it a great texture, and most of the toppings add more to texture than flavor too (cucumbers, mostly). It’s the Thai curry paste that makes this dish, and you can use as little or as much as you like depending on your heat preference. I slathered the condiment on before I was satisfied, whereas my family used a much smaller amount and still could taste it. Really, for such a self-proclaimed foodie, my taste buds appear to be pretty lame.

I paired the sandwich with a Thai broccoli salad, which was good but not outstanding. I found myself wishing for more dressing and a slightly softer broccoli component. Maybe just chopping the broccoli more finely would work but I wouldn’t be beyond actually trying to steam it a little, too. I used soy sauce and stevia in the dressing, but aside from that, really stuck to the original – which you can find over at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

I also made homemade rolls for the occasion, which were a labor of (pretty inactive) love. They’re called three day crusty rolls because you start them before bed on day 1 and don’t bake them until day 3. It’s a very hands-off process, though, and they came out with a pretty excellent texture. The whole wheat flavor was even pretty well masked, so that no one complained that I didn’t use all-purpose. Which inevitably happens when I try to whole wheat-ify everything I make. The only thing that I didn’t do perfectly with these guys was to make them big enough – for sandwiches, you really shouldn’t try to make any more than 6 rolls out of 1 batch. You can find that recipe at Andrea’s Recipes. If I ever tweak it beyond just substituting in whole wheat flour, I’ll consider putting it on the blog, but for now, this really isn’t my recipe at all and Andrea deserves the traffic and credit.

Thai Chicken Sandwiches
These sandwiches are easy to make and should be well-received by everyone! Its build-your-own style allows each person to modify the level of heat they like, letting the recipe go from cool and tame to hot and spicy.

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes plus time for marinating (1-4 hours)
Cook Time: 20 minutes

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup lime juice
2 regular (thick) chicken breasts
4 (whole grain)rolls, for serving
½ cucumber, sliced, for serving
Thai curry paste, for serving1

The Method
Whisk together the ginger, garlic, zest, oil, and lime juice in a shallow dish or pie plate. Halve each chicken breast and add all four pieces to the dish. Turn to coat both sides with the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (I did four; the recipe says 15 minutes).

Heat a grill pan, lightly coated with cooking spray, over medium-high heat. When hot, add the chicken breasts and sear, 4 minutes per side. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking for another 6-7 minutes per side, until the breasts have cooked through fully.

Serve with rolls, cucumber, and Thai curry paste.

Source, adapted: Healthy-Delicious

1As much as ¼ teaspoon per person may be enough; however, I probably used closer to a full tablespoon just on mine. Start with a small amount and go from there, just in case.

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